Life’s meaning through humanity
By Arabi Tobi
Photography by Arthur Tainturier
“For years, I couldn’t find a meaning for my life, I never experienced real happiness, I felt empty, it was like I had a void life with no purpose or direction up until the moment I started seeking to promote the welfare of other humans, then I found happiness and I started feeling complete.”
Carl Sagan said, “The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Our posturance, our self-imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are charged with this point of pure light. Our planet is a lovely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.”
In our obscurity, in all these vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The earth is known to be the only form to harbor life, there is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species can migrate; Visit? Yes, Settle? Not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the earth is the only place we can make our stand.
Samaher Al-Rifaie — also known as Sam — is a Jordanian local who got to her realization point a year ago and has since caught the attention of both locals and foreigners with random acts of humanity.
In our tiny world, it requires our responsibilities to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the axiom of the beauty we live in.
We long to be here for a purpose, even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident. The significance of our lives in our fragile planet is being determined by our own wisdom and courage, making us the custodians of life’s meaning.
The starting point
While we’re lying on our deathbeds, we’re not going to worry about how much money we had, how much prestige. The only thing going to matter is how much impact we’ve made on other people’s lives and the world.
Samaher Al-Rifaie is an undergraduate of the Hashemite University of Jordan and has become a sensation amongst friends and family towards the beauty in helping improve the quality of the lives of other humans.
Samaher showed an instance of how this love can be dispersed when she was caught sitting on the floor of a very busy street with an old beggar, conversing, sharing jokes and creating a moment of comfort and relation to the old woman who spends the whole day alone by the side of the street incapacitated, without friends to talk to or the Internet to keep her informed and engaged.
After efforts were made to make Sam disclose the ‘how’ and ‘why’ she decided to execute this seemingly little bit divine act of humanity, she finally revealed the incitement.
“For years, I couldn’t find a meaning for my life, I never experienced real happiness, I felt empty, it was like I had a void life with no purpose or direction up until the moment I started seeking to promote the welfare of other humans, then I found happiness and I started feeling complete,” she said.
“I’ve seen the old woman sitting alone by the side of the road a couple of times, in the cold weather, in the scorching sun, with crowd walking past her every second not taking a second glance at her.
“The day I decided to start spending time with her, keeping her company and getting to know her, I met her eating nuts for breakfast. I shut the world out and sat with her right there on the floor and her tearful eyes from surprise and excitement didn’t just move me to tears, it gave me a reason and purpose to my empty self that instant.
“I’ve since spent time with her weekly, and my joy knew no bounds when she told me that her anticipation to my next visit keeps a smile on her face daily.”
In the world today, charitable giving has increased over 10 percent. This increase and the overall size of charitable contributions is a further testament to the integral role charities play in our society, a role which continues to grow. How much do we give?
When we were born, we cried while the world rejoiced, we should live our lives in such a way that when we die, the world cries while we rejoice, a decision Samaher has taken as she went on to further the vitality of humanity through practices of more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions to protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for future generations.
“In my university, I volunteered with a group called Candlelight. We went to farms and gardens in public and private places to plant trees and we’ve since grown in numbers, successfully planting dozens of trees to keep the environment green, to sustain its natural state,” she said.
“Trees and forests are constantly cleaning our air and improve our air quality, they exhale the oxygen we need to breathe and absorbs carbon dioxide and other air pollutions. After realizing the essence of trees to the human existence, I implored more people to join in planting more trees to beautify the environment and more importantly, create a safer world.”
A properly planted mature shady tree on the south or west side of your house or business can save you up to 25 percent on your summer air conditioning bills and increase your property value by up to 20 percent with its beauty. That same tree will also help soak up stormwater in the neighborhood, and contribute habitat for local wildlife.
Sam has further volunteered with a team in Jordan called The Inner Circle, where they are focused on visiting orphanages all around Jordan and are even on the verge of taking the acts of humanity global.
“Presently, I am part of a team called The Inner Circle, created by students of the University of Jordan, and we are focusing on aytam (orphans), and we aren’t planning on staying local, we hope to build a larger organization with the aim of going global as there are orphans all around the world that requires urgent guidance and support,” she said.
“I really hope humans can increase their interest in the well-being of other humans as the future would be the result of our actions today.”
Samaher Al-Rifaie — also known as Sam — is a Jordanian local who studies at the Hashemite University of Jordan. She is currently involved in many volunteer organisations — aiming for a humanitarian impact. Sam believed in creating a better world through her impacts, which she saw as one of her main sources of life.